In an unnamed European village, in the middle of a civil war, one man digs while another watches over him. Gradually, they begin to talk. Over the course of the afternoon, as the snow falls and truck-loads of villagers are corralled in the next field, we discover why they are there - not just who they are and how specific, sinister events in their country have led them to be separated by a deepening grave, but why the history of civilization is inseparable from the history of mass violence. Beautifully written, with a poet's eye for detail coupled with a chilling narrative drive, Gerard Donovan's first novel has been compared with Franz Kafka and Bernhard Schlink. SCHOPENHAUER'S TELESCOPE is current in the best sense - not merely about Bosnia or Kosovo, but in attempting to make art out of brutal life.